Friday, 30 August 2013

Third Culture Kids, Blogging, Books and More

I always love reading other blogs and especially when they are written by someone who grew up abroad. I want to share a few blogs that I have been reading the past few weeks. I like Susanne's blog. She was born in Bruges, Belgium, lived in Poland, Japan and America. Susanne writes:

"Moving around for me, at the time, was just a part of life."

"When we moved back to the Netherlands, my past became a burden."

She writes about what it is like to be a third culture kid, read her story here. Growing up in Poland there was a time when Susanne spoke Polish fluently. To her regret she does not speak Polish anymore. Do check her blog. Did your past ever become a burden for you?

I read an interesting article on The Benefits of Reading As a Third Culture Kid. Rowena is a third culture kid who lived in Blantyre, Malawi, just like I did. We "met" online by the way. She has a great love of books and reads many. Books had a stabilzing effect on her life while she made an international move as a pre-teen. Rowena says: 

"Books helped me learn more about my culture and my surroundings. I was supposed to know all about a culture I had never lived in, but I didn’t."

I must admit I love reading too. Sometimes I wonder if I read to be able to travel. So when I am actually not moving and travelling in real life, I can travel while I read stories about life abroad. Am I escaping real life too when I read books? I love having breakfast and then getting back in to bed to read a good book, that's like heaven to me. It does not happen often but when it does it's pure enjoyment. 
Are you a third culture kid who loves reading? Why do you love reading? 

I want to keep you updated in how the blog is going. Well in July 2013 there were a record amount of pageviews. Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog. I have not been blogging very frequently but behind the scenes I am trying to write a book, I had a holiday in Belgium and France, I try to spend time with the family and read some books too. I will be reviewing "The Stress-Free Guide to Studying in The States" by Toni Summers Hargis soon. The book is on my bedside table at the moment. 

Books I recently received & want to read!
I did a skype interview this week with Emma, she is a university student studying anthropology in England. She interviewed me for her research on third culture kids. I am so glad that there is ongoing research on what it is like to grow up in other cultures. I also want to let you know that I have added a link on this blog to YouthCompass. They are an organisation that have been working with TCKs since 2001. I hope to post an interview all about YouthCompass in the future. I must admit that I had never heard of YouthCompass.

Have you read any interesting third culture kid blogs recently?

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Monday, 12 August 2013

I am glad that another (Adult) Third Culture Kid Overcame his lifelong Identity Crisis

Once again I read an interesting article, this time on the Time Out Dubai website. The author grew up as a third culture kid but had never heard of the term until someone reacently shared about it on facebook. You see amazing things can even happen on facebook!

The author Hfu Reisenhofer explains that the question: Where are you from? Was a difficult one for him. Like it is for many of us. He writes:

"You see, for years I didn’t know who or what I am – at least officially. It sounds like an odd thing to say, but it’s the truth. If you were born in Tokyo but brought up in Hong Kong, have an Austrian passport but feel British, have a Japanese first name and a German last name but pronounce them with an English accent, the issue of where you’re from is not as straightforward as it seems."

A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.

Like Hfu I had an international childhood. I was born in Zambia, lived in Malawi and Zimbabwe but my passport country is the Netherlands. So am I African? Am I Dutch? Am I Zimbabwean? Am I a mix? Well years ago I discovered that I'm a third culture kid too.

I really like the end of the article. He says "So, go on, ask me where I’m from. I’ve finally got the answer."

I am so glad Hfu finally found the answer! I am still concerned because like him I think there are more adults and young people out there who grew up as third culture kids but have never heard the term. Who have not experienced the relief, the validation, discovered that they are not alone in this, and that there are more individuals like them. There is still work to be done. The word has to get out. Will you help spread the word?

How can we spread the word about the term third culture kids?

  1. Expat parents must teach their children.
  2. Teachers at international schools must teach their pupils about it.
  3. We adult third culture kids must spread the word around.
Do you have ideas how we can raise awareness? How can we get the word out? 

This is the trailer of the film "Les Passagers" I have shared it before but it is one of my favourites so I will share it again.